NEWS

Yacata Villagers Feel TC Ella’s Strong Winds

Villagers of Yacata Island in Cakaudrove were one of the first people to experience strong winds from Tropical Cyclone Ella . Village headman, Peniqusa Taione, said they were taking no
11 May 2017 13:14
Yacata Villagers Feel TC Ella’s Strong Winds
TC Ella Track map at mid day today. Image: FijiMet

Villagers of Yacata Island in Cakaudrove were one of the first people to experience strong winds from Tropical Cyclone Ella .

Village headman, Peniqusa Taione, said they were taking no chances and heeded precautionary measures as they were already feeling strong winds.

“As soon as we heard of a Tropical Cyclone warning, I began advising people to start preparing for the worst,” Mr Taione said.

“Trees were cut, food collected as we prepared our ration for the natural disaster.”

He added that about eight families still living in tents started to move to one of the 12 newly-constructed homes in the village. These were the ones unaffected by TC Winston last year.

“We have continued to listen to the weather bulletins from the radio and hoping for the best,” Mr Taione said.

“Our current evacuation centre is the village church and if the weather condition intensifies then we will move there.”

In Taveuni, Lamini Village headmen in Somosomo, Epeli Lelevono said: “We are starting to feel strong winds too but only a little rain is being expected. The villagers have started to put up shutters as well as we prepare for TC Ella.”

In Dreketi Village, Qamea, villager Viliame Nabalotu said: “People are running around preparing for TC Ella but as now nothing has been felt as yet, and the weather is fine.”

TC Ella, on category one, was expected to intensify according to the Fiji Meteorological Office in Nadi.

TC Ella with sustained winds of 40 knots close to the centre, is expected to intensify and become a Category 2 with sustained winds of 50 knots by last night, it said in a statement.

It was located 500km east-northeast of Vanuabalavu or 655km east-northeast of Labasa.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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